HAS EUROPEAN IMMIGRATION POLICY CHANGED? A BENCHMARKING ANALYSIS OF IMMIGRATION TRENDS TO 30 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN 1998-2011
Keywords:European Union, immigration flows, trend bencharking methodology, immigration policy, trend analysis, comparative study, Europesn integration policy
The purpose of research article is to present an analysis of European immigration policy in 1998-2011. The analyses and research tasks include: (1) immigration to the Nordic countries, (2) immigration to Baltic countries, (3) immigration to Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain and Italy, (4) immigration to Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia and (5) immigration to Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and (6) immigration to Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus. The research results include benchmarking trend analyses of immigration flows of analyzed countries for years 1998-2011. Thus, 14 years period of immigration flows in European continent is analyzed. Key results of the study inform us about various changes of immigration policy in the European Union, towards the “Fortress Europe” policy.
The study includes some statistical comparative analyses and also logarithmic trend analyses (reported in Appendix 1). If we want to have evidence-based immigration policy in the European Union, these kinds of empirical trend analyses may help us to make informed decisions. These results indicate that in many European countries immigration policy has changed in a considerable way towards “Fortress Europe model” - especially during financial crisis. Biggest changes can be observed in Poland, in Iceland, in the Netherlands, in Greece, Spain, in Austria and in Lichtenstein. One remarkable change is that the United Kingdom and Germany have changed their rank positions as major immigration countries of the European Union in 1998-2011.
Thus, in 2011 six major European countries taking immigrants to their county were the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland. In 1998 these six largest immigration flow countries were Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands. Also other remarkable changes are reported in this empirical immigration study. However very latest publication of Eurostat (2014b) in May 2014 reveals that Germany was again in 2012 the biggest country taking immigrants in the EU-27 country group.